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Publication numberUS3708747 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 2, 1973
Filing dateOct 22, 1971
Priority dateOct 23, 1970
Also published asCA939751A1
Publication numberUS 3708747 A, US 3708747A, US-A-3708747, US3708747 A, US3708747A
InventorsLesueur G
Original AssigneeAlsthom Savoisienne
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Optical current transformer
US 3708747 A
Abstract
An optical current transformer in which two light beams coming from the same source successively pass through: (1) a first polarizer, a first material having a magnetic rotational power influenced by the electrical current to be measured and a first analyzer, to end up on a photoelectric detector; and (2) a second polarizer, a second material having a magnetic rotational power influenced by a measuring electrical current and a second analyzer, to end up on the same photoelectric detector. The measuring current is dependent on the detector for maintaining a constant flux on the latter. The angle between the polarization planes of the polarizers and the analyzers of each pair is 45 DEG .
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Lesueur [54] OPTICAL CURRENT TRANSFORMER [75] Inventor: Gilbert Lesueur, Aix-Les-Bains,

France [73] Assignee: Alsthom-Savoisienne, Saint-Owen,

France [221 Filed: Oct. 22, 1971 21 Appl.No.:191,664

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data 11 1 3,708,747 Jan.2,1973

Bensel ..324/96 Pelenc ..324/96 [57] ABSTRACT An optical current transformer in which two light beams coming from the same source successively pass through: (i) a first polarizer, a first material having a magnetic rotational power influenced by the electrical current to be measured and a first analyzer, to end up on a photoelectric detector; and (2) a second polarizer, a second material having a magnetic rotational power influenced by a measuring electrical current and a second analyzer, to end up on the same photoelectric detector. The measuring current is dependent on the detector for maintaining a constant flux on the latter. The angle between the polarization planes of the polarizers and the analyzers of each pair is 45.

4 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure l OPTICAL CURRENT TRANSFORMER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a device for measuring the magnitude of an electrical current, using the Faraday effect.

2..Description of the Prior Art In known devices of this kind, a polarized light beam traverses a material, such as flint-glass, with a magnetic rotating power subject to a magnetic field produced by of light polarization angle into a variation in the intensi-' ty of the light flux. The latter is detected .by a photoelectric detector.

It has already been proposed, in an effort to increase precision, to employ a measurement method by means of compensation which consists of canceling out the rotation of the polarization plane of the light beam by means of a rotation in the opposite direction through the same angle. This rotation in the opposite direction is obtained by interspersing, in the path of the light beam and upstream from the analyzer, a material with a magnetic rotating power and suitably placed in a magnetic field produced by a current which is the measuring current.

This compensation method involves numerous inconveniences. It increases the losses in light transmission; in effect, the light beam must successively go through two materials with magnetic rotating power, instead of just one. On the other hand, the beam must be kept polarized between the two materials with the magnetic rotating power; in the case where the material serving for the measurement and the material serving for compensation are far removed from each other (for example, for reasons of electrical insulation), this setup requires expensive light beam guidance devices. Above all, the electrical energy used for compensation is rather considerable, because this method always requires an equal number of compensation ampereturns.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The object of the invention is to provide an optical current transformer which is as precise as transformers using the compensation method mentioned above and which considerably reduces the electric power con sumption, while permitting light to be guided by optical fibers, because the light transmitted through a certain distance is not polarized.

The optical current transformer, according to the invention, is remarkable by virtue of the fact that it involves two light beams, the first of which successively passes through the following: a first polarizer, a first material with magnetic rotating power and placed in a magnetic field produced by a current to be measured, a first analyzer, and then impinging upon a photoelectric detector; the second one of these light beamspasses successively through the following: a second polarizer,

a second material with magnetic rotating power and placed in a magnetic field produced by a current which is the measuring current, a second analyzer, and then impinging upon the same photoelectric detector. Electronic means adjust the measuring current as a function of the light flux received by the photoelectric detector, so as to keep this flux at a constant value equal to one half of the flux which would be received by the photoelectric detector if the polarization plane of the first or second light beam were merged, respectively, upon leaving the first or second material with magnetic rotating power, with the polarization plane of the first or second analyzer. The angle between the polarization planes of the polarizer and the analyzer is for each of the two lightbeams.

Later on we will see that the simultaneous implementation of these conditions enables us to obtain a simple relation: equality or proportionality between the current to be measured and the measuring current.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The single figure is a schematic diagram illustrating one way of implementing the invention, given here by way of example, without any restrictions.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Two light beams 10 and 20 are transmitted by one and the same light source 30, but they could also be transmitted by different sources. The light beam 10 successively passes through the following: a polarizer 11, a body 12 with a magnetic rotating power, and an analyzer 13. It is then directed toward a photoelectric detector 40. The light beam 20 successively passes through the following: a polarizer 21, a body 22 with magnetic rotating power, and an analyzer 23. It is then directed, like beam 10, to the photoelectric detector 40. The body 12 is subjected to the magnetic field of a winding 14 through which the current I to be measured runs. The body 22 is subjected to the magnetic field of a winding 24 through which runs a measuring current I which is regulated by an electronic servo device energized by the electrical signal transmitted by detector 40.

In one preferred version, the bodies 12 and 22 are, for example, dense flint-glasses and have the shape of a cylinder. Each one of them is arranged so as to be traversed along its axis by one of the light beams 10 and 20. In order to reduce the lengths of the paths where the light beams must remain polarized, the polarizers and the scanners can be arranged against the faces of bodies 12 and 22. In the portions of their paths included between the light source 30 and polarizers 11 and 21, and between analyzers l3 and 23 and the photoelectric detector 40, the light beams 10 and 20 can be guided by optical fibers. This property is interesting and worthwhile when body 12, influenced by the magnetic field of the current I to be measured, is separated from the light source 30 and from the photoelectric detector 40, for reasons of electrical insulation.

The elements in the upper part of the figure: references 11, 12, 13, 14, are arranged, for example, at the top of a support insulator, and the other elements of the figure are at the bottom of this insulator support.

The polarization plane of polarizer 11 makes an angle (11, of: 45 with that of the analyzer 13; likewise, the polarization plane of polarizer 21 makes an angle d), of: 45 with that of the analyzer 23.

Photoelectric detector 40 transmits an electrical signal which is a function of the intensity of the received light flux J. This light flux is the sum of flux J,

due to the light beam 10 and the flux 1, due to the light beam 20.

Let us assume that A, is the light intensity of beam 10 at the output of polarizer 11, A, that of the beam 20 at the output of polarizer 21, 6, the angle of rotation which the polarization plane of beam 10 undergoes upon traversing body 12, and 6 the angle of rotation which the polarization plane of beam 20 undergoes upon traversing body 22. If we neglect the transmission losses, the light fluxes J, and J, are equal to:

J, =A, cos a l J =A cos a 2,

where a, is the angle which the polarization plane of the light beam 10 at the output of body 12 makes with the polarization plane of analyzer l3, and a 2 is the angle which the polarization plane of the light beam 20 at the output of body 22 makes with the polarization plane of the analyzer 23.

1 +1 A, cos 0,) A cos (qb 9 After trigonometric transformation, we get the followmg:

V101, A /z [14, cos 2 (d), 0,) A} cos 2 100 2 2)] The expression for light flux J received by photoelectric detector 40 can thus be broken down into a first constant term and a second term that is a function of the angles 0, and

Electronic servo device 50 regulates the measuring current magnitude I so as to obtain a rotation of the polarization plane of beam 20 in body 22, so that the second term above will be zero. Consequently, when there is equilibrium, the flux received by photoelectric detector 40 will be equal to k (A, A that is to say, half of the light flux which photosensitive element 40 would receive if the polarization planes of beams and 20, at the outputs of the first and second bodies with magnetic rotating power, were merged with the polarization plans, respectively, of analyzers l3 and 23.

According to one possible version of the electronic servo device, the latter is made up of an isolating amplifier 51 whose input terminal is connected to the photoelectric detector 40, a subtractor 52 with two inputs, one of which is connected to the output of the isolating amplifier 51 while the other one is connected to an amplifier 53 which provides a signal corresponding to the constant term 1% (/f, A in the process suitably amplifying the signal furnished by a photoelectric detector 54, receiving a light flux proportional to this constant term, that is to say, a light flux taken either from beam 10 or beam or from these two beams with the help of semireflecting plates or optical fibers, or directly from source by means of a different light path, as shown at 55 in the figure, and an amplifier 56 which is controlled by the difference signal transmitted by subtractor 5 2 and which furnishes the power current for winding 24.

The calculation shows that the disequilibrium term of the signal transmitted by the photoelectric detector is the product of the phase shift multiplied by a coefficient, which product very slowly decreases with 6 the sensitivity of the system is thus practically constant.

In a first version, we give the same intensities A, and A to the light beams 10 and 20 at the output of the polarizers 11 and 21. The equilibrium of the servo device 50 is then obtained when 6, and 6 are equal in terms of absolute value: they are equal in terms of relative value if d), and da, are in opposite directions, and they have opposite relative values if d), and d), are in the same direction. In this case, one can proceed. to a direct reading because the magnitude of the measuring current I is equal to that of the current I to be measured.

According to another version, we give angles 0, and 9 sufficiently small absolute values, that is, less than 5, so that one can equate the sine to the arc, and the equilibrium condition of the servo device 50 is then written as follows:

It is no longer necessary, as before, for angles 8, and 0-, to be equal. In selecting A larger than A,, the angle 6 will be smaller than the angle 6,, which causes the dissipation of the electrical energy in the winding 24 to be smaller than that of the measurement winding 14. The magnitude of the current I to be measured is then proportional to that of the measuring current I,,.

It is noted that when angles :1), and (I), are in the same direction, the direction of the measuring current I is such that the rotation of beam 20 in body 22 and the rotation of beam 10 in body 12 will be in opposite directions. In the case where 4), and d), are in opposite directions, the direction of the measuring current I is such that the rotation of beam 20 in body 22 and the rotation of beam 10 in body 12 will be in the same direction.

The optical current transformer, which is the object of this invention, can be applied particularly advantageously in measuring the current of a high or very high voltage line.

I claim:

1. An optical current transformer comprising:

a. a first light path comprising in sequence:

a first polarizer,

a first magneto-optical element subject to a magnetic field produced by a current to be measured,

a first analyzer whose polarization plane forms an angle of 45 with the polarization plane of said first polarizer,

a photoelectric detector for generating a control signal dependent upon the intensity of light impinging thereon;

a second light path comprising in sequence:

a second polarizer,

a second magneto-optical element subject to a magnetic field produced by a measuring current,

a second analyzer whose polarization plane forms an angle of 45 with said second polarizer, and

said photoelectric detector;

0. means for generating first and second light beams along said first and second paths, respectively, so that said beams impinge upon said photoelectric detector;

d. electronic means responsive to said control current for controlling said measuring current as a function of the intensity of light impinging upon said photodetector to maintain the intensity at a constant value equal to one half of the intensity which would impinge upon said photodetector if the polarization planes of said first and second light beams at the outputs of said first and second magneto-optical elements were merged, respectively, with the polarization planes of said first and second analyzers.

2. An optical current transformer according to claim 1 wherein said first and second light beams have the same intensity at the outputs of said first and second polarizers.

3. An optical current transformer according to claim 1 wherein the planes of polarization of said first and second light beams are rotated through an angle of less than 5 by said first and second polarizers, respectively, and wherein the intensity of said first light beam at the output of said second polarizer.

4. An optical current transformer according to claim 1 wherein said electronic means comprises subtrac'tor circuit means responsive to said control signal and to a signal representative of said constant value for controlling said measuring current.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3413055 *Apr 12, 1961Nov 26, 1968Gen ElectricMagneto-optic glass body and electric circuit element in read-out apparatus including the same
US3419802 *Apr 11, 1966Dec 31, 1968Merlin GerinApparatus for current measurement by means of the faraday effect
US3506833 *Dec 14, 1966Apr 14, 1970Bbc Brown Boveri & CieApparatus for transmitting variable quantities to a remote point of measurement incorporating modulated light beam as information carrier
US3581202 *Aug 15, 1968May 25, 1971Merlin GerinDevices for the electro-optical measurement of an electrical quantity
US3662263 *Oct 28, 1970May 9, 1972Siemens AgApparatus for measuring current in high-voltage lines
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3753101 *Jul 5, 1972Aug 14, 1973Alsthom SavoisienneFaraday effect current measuring device
US3906343 *Jun 27, 1974Sep 16, 1975Siemens AgDigital magneto optical instrument for high voltage systems
US3978334 *Sep 24, 1975Aug 31, 1976The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyPrecision laser beam deflection detector
US4232264 *Dec 18, 1978Nov 4, 1980Siemens AktiengesellschaftArrangement for the magneto-optical measurement of currents
US4560932 *Jan 31, 1983Dec 24, 1985Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.Magneto-optical converter utilizing Faraday effect
US4564754 *Mar 7, 1983Jan 14, 1986Hitachi, Ltd.Method and apparatus for optically measuring a current
US4570064 *Jul 13, 1983Feb 11, 1986Hitachi, Ltd.Optical D.C. electric-field measuring apparatus with optic sensing means exhibiting both electrooptic and photoelectric effects
US4683421 *Mar 29, 1985Jul 28, 1987Westinghouse Electric Corp.Drift compensation technique for a magneto-optic current sensor
US4947107 *Jun 28, 1988Aug 7, 1990Sundstrand CorporationMagneto-optic current sensor
US4973899 *Aug 24, 1989Nov 27, 1990Sundstrand CorporationCurrent sensor and method utilizing multiple layers of thin film magneto-optic material and signal processing to make the output independent of system losses
US5124634 *Apr 25, 1990Jun 23, 1992Square D CompanyRing optical current transducer
US6515467 *Dec 13, 1999Feb 4, 2003Siemens AktiengesellschaftMethod and system for optically detecting an electric current by means of light signals having different wavelengths
EP0088419A1 *Mar 7, 1983Sep 14, 1983Hitachi, Ltd.Apparatus for optically measuring a current
EP0130706A1 *Jun 6, 1984Jan 9, 1985Westinghouse Electric CorporationElectronic circuitry with self-calibrating feedback for use with an optical current sensor
Classifications
U.S. Classification324/96, 250/225
International ClassificationG01R15/24
Cooperative ClassificationG01R15/246
European ClassificationG01R15/24C2